Erik Jones Wants to Race the Best at Money in the Bank

This is the first of five Super Late Model starts for the Byron Bandit.


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For so many reasons, Erik Jones and Wimmer Motorsports is a natural fit for this summer stretch of Super Late Model races.

The 26-year-old from Byron, Michigan and current Cup Series contender for Petty GMS will drive a Erik Jones Foundation No. 4 prepared by Chris Wimmer at the following six races near both of their homes across the upper Midwest:

Berlin Raceway, June 8
Milwaukee Mile, June 19
State Park Speedway, June 30
Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, July 30
Wisconsin International Raceway, August 2
Berlin Raceway, August 10

Jones famously arrived on the national spotlight driving a family owned Super Late Model to victories across the region leading up to his breakthrough triumph in the 2012 Snowball Derby in a head-to-head showdown Kyle Busch.

That led to his own tenure at Kyle Busch Motorsports, where he claimed the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship in 2015, while also continuing to race Super Late Models for KBM and KBR Development.

Upon reaching the Cup Series, first with Joe Gibbs Racing and then Richard Petty Motorsports, Jones scaled back his short track racing but never lost sight on his desire to return to a Super Late Model. He made a pair of starts last summer for BJ McLeod and Travis Braden before entering the Snowball Derby in a Hamke house car.

With William Byron making up to a dozen starts for Donnie Wilson Motorsports, and numerous other Cup Series drivers running Sprint Cars and Midgets, the itch became too much to stave off.

"You're seeing it with William and with the other guys running dirt, an enthusiasm for drivers to do other kinds of racing," Jones told Racing America on Wednesday morning. "I've wanted to do it regularly for a while, but it was just a matter of getting the schedule to line up."

Jones is hoping to make this a more regular program, too.

His starts with Braden-McLeod and HAMKE were effective his way of dipping his toes back into the short track waters. While Wimmer Motorsports frequently has driver development clinets, Jones hopes to make a home with Wimmer for the foreseeable future where it makes sense for both parties.

"I think there's an opportunity to work together for a couple of years," Jones said. "I look at it like when we raced with Mike Bursley and we did it for a couple of years. We're already looking ahead to next year a little bit if everything goes well. I don't want to be looking for something different every year and like the idea of building a program with someone."

That process begins early next week with the Money in the Bank at Berlin.

Jones has three wins at the odd shaped short track located just over 100 miles from his childhood home. The first came in 2013 with the ARCA Racing Series and two others came in a Super Late Model in 2015 and 2016.

Odd shaped because Berlin effectively turns within the turns and drivers routinely have to cut the corner off Turn 4 to get drive off down the frontstretch.

"Berlin is tough, man," Jones said. "I first went there in 2010 and felt lucky that the car had speed, but it took me awhile to figure out the tire management aspect and how to set up passes. I learned later that there is a lot of Darlington in that place for a short track.

"It's a really racey race track and I felt really proud to win the races there that I did. It’s a fun place to get around."

Jones is most excited to race a world class field that includes Bubba Pollard, Ty Majeski, Stephen Nasse, William Byron, Carson Hocevar and around 40 of the best Super Late Model teams in the country.

"We set up the schedule for races that had a really high level of competition," Jones said. "I want to race the Bubba Pollards and Stephen Nasses. I don't have an interest in running a weekly show somewhere, just because I really want to see what we have against the type of field you have at these bigger shows."